Carmiel Banasky is the guest. Her debut novel, The Suicide of Claire Bishop, is now available from Dzanc Books. It is the official September selection of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.
Carmiel and I talked about Los Angeles and New York and Judaism and her dad. We also talked about Portland; she grew up in Portland (Oregon). Of particular interest to me was the fact that she lived on the road, housesitting and working odd jobs for (if I recall correctly) four years. She wrote much of Claire Bishop during this time. A very admirable resourcefulness. And quiet tenacity. I think writers have to be tenacious. And disciplined. Carmiel is also a meditator. She does TM. We talked about that, too. A regular writing practice and a regular meditation practice: they seem of a piece. You have to be willing to sit down and sit still and be quiet and watch your thoughts. You have to be disciplined. You have to be quietly tenacious.
In the monologue, I talk about being up all night with my eight-week-old son, and how recently, after a 2 a.m. feeding, rather than fall back asleep, he stayed awake and stared at me for two solid hours. My point, if there is one, is that it's weird to have someone, anyone, even your own infant child, stare at you for that long in the middle of the night. Especially when conversation isn't possible.